WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Marvel's Ant-Man and The Wasp, in theaters now.
The tendency of people to perceive a familiar pattern -- frequently a human face or an animal -- where none exists is called pareidolia. The psychological phenomenon explains why some of us spy a dog-shaped cloud, Elvis Presley on a piece of burned toast or, just maybe, a smiling Thanos in the mid-credits scene of Ant-Man and The Wasp.
In the sequence, which leaked online earlier this week, Paul Rudd's Scott Lang heads back into the subatomic Quantum Realm, but as he's about to be transported back to "our" world, he suddenly loses contact with Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly), Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer). That's because the trio is turned into dust as a result of Thanos' universe-balancing finger snap in Avengers: Infinity War.
However, according to one Redditor, that's not the only connection in that scene to the events of the Marvel Studios blockbuster. Fresh from a screening of director Peyton Reed's Ant-Man and The Wasp, MagnificentGiraffe insisted the Mad Titan's grinning visage can be seen in the swirling stew of colors, light and debris that makes up the Quantum Realm.
"It’s for a split second," MagnificentGiraffe explained. "In the wide shot of Scott floating, just to the top left of his head a circle turns into an eye and then it flashes and Thanos face is there. It will probably be a lot easier to see in HD."
With that, the comments thread was off, with the help of some visual aids (a shot of the moment in question, followed by a surprisingly decent recording of the scene). Some Redditors spied eyes they thought could belong to the interdimensional entity Dormammu, who made a similar, if more discernible, appearance in 2016's Doctor Strange. Another suggested it's Eternity, a cosmic entity that has yet to debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
In other words, the frame from the mid-credits scene serves as a sort of Rorschach test for the Marvel faithful. Of course, not everyone is sure it's anything beyond the typical "noise" of the Quantum Realm.
"There’s nothing," one Redditor concluded. "This is just a tease for people to go watch it again. Nothing to see here. Continue on with your day."
In theaters now, director Peyton Reed’s Ant-Man and The Wasp stars Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Bobby Cannavale, Michael Peña, Tip “T.I.” Harris, Judy Greer, David Dastmalchian, Michael Douglas, Michelle Pfeiffer, Laurence Fishburne, Hannah John-Kamen, Randall Park and Walton Goggins.